Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources
 

NEWS ARCHIVE FOR NOVEMBER 2006

   
Pope no longer doubts Thomas reached India
Pope Benedict has amended the published text of a speech on the travels of St Thomas to explicitly recognise that the Apostle reached southern India, following heated protests from Indian Catholics.
30 Nov 2006

99-year leases threat to Indigenous communities, say Sisters
Indigenous land owners who speak English as a fourth or fifth language are being pressured to make hasty decisions over their land and the Government's move to impose 99-year leases is a threat to basic rights, say two women religious leaders.
30 Nov 2006

Greens say chaplaincy group stacked
The Australian Greens education spokeswoman, Kerry Nettle, says that the Government's new nine-member chaplaincy reference group, which includes the chairman of Victoria's Catholic Education Commission, has been stacked to favour private schools.
30 Nov 2006

WorkChoices not cricket, says Melbourne lobby
Australians would not tolerate biased umpires on the cricket pitch but this is what workers will experience under WorkChoices, the Catholic lobby group PolMin said, ahead of today's nation-wide protest against the laws.
30 Nov 2006

Abbott to implement Parliament stem cell decision
Health Minister Tony Abbott says he will discharge his duty as a government minister to implement Federal laws on stem cell research but he will vote against the proposed laws to be debated in parliament today.
30 Nov 2006

Vatican says "no" to violence as al-Qaeda denounces Pope's Turkey visit
A message purporting to be from the al-Qaeda terrorist group has denounced Pope Benedict's visit to Turkey as a "crusader campaign" but a Vatican spokesperson says such a message shows the urgency of a common commitment against "violence in the name of God".
30 Nov 2006

Feature - What happened to Pluto?
When Pluto was demoted from its status as a planet in August by the International Astronomical Union, good-humoured outrage swept the globe. How could Pluto, the littlest planet, no longer be what we thought it was? Vatican astronomer Br Guy Consolmagno noted that defining Pluto as a planet, asteroid or dwarf planet was important because it affects how we think about Pluto and how astronomers would study the celestial body in the future - John DeSio
30 Nov 2006

Opinion - Future will bring more, not less, religious life
Religious difference has been both the cause of and associated with the resurgence in religious practice in Australia. When we were all Christians and basically Anglican, Catholic and Uniting, religion did not make much difference. Now there is much more diversity and the Australian "we" includes Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and Scientologists. In this context religious identity is being declared in various ways from clothing choices to political choices; from entertainment choices to friendship choices. Increased religious diversity has revealed that religion does make a difference - Gary Bouma
30 Nov 2006

Blogosphere controversy over cathedral alteration
Catholic bloggers have criticised a new altar to be built in Sydney's St Mary's Cathedral for World Youth Day as "unfortunate" and "misguided" in its symbolism.
29 Nov 2006

Catholic schools back open standard platform
More than 1200 Catholic schools have signed up to adopt a unified technology learning platform based on open standards in a move described by Catholic Education Network chairperson, Greg Whitby, as "an important step towards meeting the needs of 21st Century learners".
29 Nov 2006

Aussie soul alive and kicking, academic discovers
In a newly published book analysing Australia's spiritual and religious trends, Monash University Professor Gary Bouma argues that, contrary to assumptions that the nation is becoming increasingly secular, religion is in fact growing and increasingly popular.
29 Nov 2006

Israel in surprise reopening of Holy See negotiations
In a move that surprised observers, Israel has agreed to re-launch negotiations with the Holy See over church status in the Holy Land that have been stalled since the Olmert government came to power.
29 Nov 2006

Catholic school teachers to join IR protests
Following criticism by the Prime Minister of government school teachers who plan to join tomorrow's national protests against workplace laws, unions for teachers in Catholic and independent schools have confirmed that thousands of private school staff are also expected to participate.
29 Nov 2006

Peaceful Pope promotes brotherhood, backs Turkey for EU
Arriving in Turkey, Pope Benedict said that his trip aims to promote brotherhood and reconciliation between cultures and religions, telling the Turkish Prime Minister that the Holy See supports his country's entry to the European Union.
29 Nov 2006

Feature - PNG's "lost" Filipino descendants
During the 1800s 14 Filipino Catholic lay missionaries came to PNG in several batches to teach catechism to the natives and settled on Yule Island, then the seat and nerve centre of the Catholic mission. In later years, some of them returned to Yule Island while others opted to stay in villages, married local women and raised children. These days, one can find many locals who possess distinct Filipino features - light-complexion, straight hair and brown eyes. Port Moresby old-timers usually referred to them as "Lost Filipinos" - Alfredo P Hernandez
29 Nov 2006

Opinion - The good "Oil" for leading Labor back?
No one seriously believes Labor can win the next election under Kim Beazley. It's been suggested that the move to install Kevin Rudd somehow represents a "crazy-brave" option. But the real "crazy-brave" option is to give Peter Garrett the job. This won't happen, but think for a moment about the sort of political challenge to the Government this would represent. He is a strong Christian and embodies traditional values. At a time when politicians increasingly turn people off, he comes from outside the narrow field of professional office-seekers - Nicholas Stuart
29 Nov 2006

Vatican pharmacist home in Australia after 50 years
Australian St John of God Br Fabian Hynes has retired to Sydney after completing 50 years of faithful service as Director of the Vatican Pharmacy.
28 Nov 2006

Millions facing starvation in Zimbabwe, Archbishop warns
3,500 people a week are dying of a combination of malnutrition, poverty and AIDS, Archbishop Pius Ncube said, citing a UN report that warns that an estimated 6.1 million Zimbabweans now face starvation.
28 Nov 2006

Vatican dismay over new China bishop ordination blow
A Chinese bishop who is one the few remaining bishops still without approval from the Holy See plans to ordain a new bishop this week in what some observers say may be the first in another wave of unauthorised episcopal ordinations.
28 Nov 2006

Sri Lanka in state of civil war: Caritas chief
Sri Lanka is in a state of civil war and facing a major humanitarian crisis, the head of Caritas Australia says, in the latest call for a ceasefire and the establishment of an international emergency committee to look for solutions to the violence.
28 Nov 2006

Former PM in religious divide warning
Federal Government policies risk opening up a "bitter divide" between Muslims and other Australians similar to the hatred between Protestants and Catholics during World War I, former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser says.
28 Nov 2006

Benedict to brave protests over Turkey visit
Tens of thousands of protesters hit Turkey's streets to protest the imminent arrival of Pope Benedict in what will be the first visit by the reigning Pontiff to the secular Islamic-majority state.
28 Nov 2006

Feature - The status of religious freedom in Turkey
Christian leaders say that it's easy to live in Turkey as a Christian. Turkey is known for its tradition of a very tolerant Islam, which goes back to medieval times. It is striking, though, how the number of Christians has dwindled. For example, at the beginning of the 20th century half of the population of Istanbul was Christian. Now Christians make up less than one per cent. There are about 20,000 Syrian Orthodox and circa 20,000 Catholics. Christians can freely worship, but there are difficulties - RMT Schmid (interview)
28 Nov 2006

Opinion - A case against sloppy, sentimental spirituality
The determining factor of our cultural moment isn't the lack of faith - it's that sloppy, sentimental spirituality that we all tacitly acknowledge, but that fails to pose any real challenge to the way we live. Particularly at this time of the year, what is offered erstwhile church-goers is the opportunity to leave obscure ecclesiastical rituals behind and get back in touch with the heart of Christianity: the bare immediacy of "God-with-us". But this well ensconced practice distorts the Christian message almost beyond recognition - Scott Stephens
28 Nov 2006

Korean Catholics see themselves as friends of Jesus
Korean Catholics prefer to be known as "Church companions" implying friendship with Jesus rather than as "laity", an online survey shows.
27 Nov 2006

Churches challenge rich countries on greenhouses gases
Rich countries must reduce their greenhouse gases drastically, a World Council of Churches representative told the UN Climate Conference on Friday but churches in the developing world are not waiting to launch action in their own regions.
27 Nov 2006

Catholic school students in young driver tragedy
Two students from a Catholic high school in western Sydney were killed in a car accident on Friday on the way home from an end of year event in the latest tragedy involving young drivers.
27 Nov 2006

Lismore priest censures pro-life group over alleged anti-Semitism
The rector of St Carthage Cathedral, Lismore, northern NSW, has censured and cut parish links with a local pro-life group over alleged anti-Jewish views expressed on its website.
27 Nov 2006

Housing debt, consumerism taking toll: Archbishop Hickey
The real estate boom may be making Perth an investor's paradise but Archbishop Barry Hickey says that the associated problems of bankruptcies and mortgagee sales are causing marriage failures and even suicide.
27 Nov 2006

Pell in last minute appeal against cloning vote
Gearing up for a last minute bid to defeat the stem cell bill to be debated by the House of Representatives this week, Sydney Cardinal George Pell has pleaded against a decision that would "waste government money on unproductive research".
27 Nov 2006

Feature - Crusaders battle online auction giant over relics
Hardly an hour goes by without Thomas Serafin or one of his cyber-sleuths checking what eBay has to offer. They're not hunting for bargains and never place a bid. Their interest is bone shards, bits of wizened flesh and a contemporary twist on the sacred and the profane. "You can find bone fragments supposedly from St Augustine being hawked on the Internet along with trinkets and antiques. There is something very wrong here," said Serafin, a Catholic activist who has led an expanding campaign to block the online sale of purported relics.
27 Nov 2006

Opinion - The Job Network needs drastic surgery
In an unusual act of boldness for these times, an insider has blown the whistle on the rorts and unethical practices that are endemic in the Job Network system. Defying the caution that has infected charities since they won millions of dollars of government contracts, Catholic Social Services has spoken out last week. It knows the game, the talk and the possible costs of taking a public stand. Its hugely detailed report, eight months in the making, shows the system is failing the most disadvantaged job seekers - Adele Horin
27 Nov 2006

Vatican to host Nativity film premiere this Sunday
"The Nativity Story", a biblical account of Jesus' birth, will become the first feature film ever to premiere at the Vatican this Sunday but pregnant star, Keisha Castle-Hughes, who plays Mary has not been invited.
24 Nov 2006

Catholic priest and nun human shields against Israeli bombing
American Catholic priest and nun spent several hours at the home of a Palestinian militant on Wednesday acting as human shields to protect the house from destruction by Israeli military forces.
24 Nov 2006

Vic tribunal to rule on rosaries on ovaries jibe
A Victorian tribunal is considering whether to strike out a claim by anti-feminist group Endeavour Forum that a t-shirt telling Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott to "keep your rosaries off my ovaries" amounts to religious vilification.
24 Nov 2006

Vatican condom rethink could save millions, says Catholic AIDS activist
Brian Haill, President of Australian AIDS Fund, a former Church-sponsored outreach initiative, says that a possible rethink on the use of condoms by the Vatican could potentially save millions of people from death and misery.
24 Nov 2006

Canterbury Archbishop and Benedict recommit to "arduous" journey
In a historic meeting yesterday, Canterbury Archbishop Rowan Williams and Pope Benedict have insisted on the need to deepen Anglican-Catholic dialogue and to "stand together" on Middle East peace and the negative impacts of materialism.
24 Nov 2006

800,000 mourn Maronite Lebanese leader
Presiding at a huge funeral Mass for slain Maronite political leader, Pierre Gemayel, Lebanese Cardinal Nasrallah Sfeir called for unity in the divided country.
24 Nov 2006

Feature - Schizophrenics call to Church for understanding
Austin Mardon was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1992. Despite his illness, he has since received three notable decorations, including Canada's Queen Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002. He also earned a PhD in geography. "A person with a mental illness can still excel. But you have to accommodate your limitations," said Mardon. With some 10 million Catholic schizophrenics in the world, he wondered if a person were to disclose a mental illness to a priest, would the priest know what to do? - Bill Glen
24 Nov 2006

Opinion - Communication stuff up at the Vatican
The Pope doesn't use a computer - he often dictates his addresses or improvises without providing anything written ahead of time. To transcribe, translate, and bring his words to an audience as vast as the world is not easy, but it is what Benedict XVI expects from the Vatican communication apparatus. The paradox of Ratzinger is that the richness and profundity of his addresses are striking but at the same time he is left "poor" - and alone - precisely by those who should be gathering and amplifying his message - Sandro Magister
24 Nov 2006

First graduates from ACU Timor teachers course
A teacher training program in East Timor accredited by the Australian Catholic University has graduated its first group of 48 teachers as the country struggles to meet a need for 200 new teachers a year.
23 Nov 2006

Catholic agency in Iraq closes over threats
The Caritas agency in the Iraqi city of Mosul has been closed over threats to its staff and demands for contributions to the resistance against US occupation forces.
23 Nov 2006

Pastoral care under threat at Christmas Island, says Bishop Grech
The isolated location of a new detention centre being constructed at the cliff-surrounded western tip of Christmas Island will make it "virtually impossible" to provide adequate pastoral care, says Bishop Grech.
23 Nov 2006

Vatican says Jesus died for all but correct Mass translation is "for many"
The Holy See congregation responsible for sacraments has instructed bishops to adjust the translation of the Latin words of consecration "pro multis" from "for all" to the more literally correct "for many", even though "for all" would correspond better to Jesus' intentions.
23 Nov 2006

Govt incentives encourage job agency rorting, report says
The Government's system of rewarding job agencies that delay help to the unemployed until they are out of work for more than 12 months exacerbates long-term unemployment and provides incentives for the agencies to "stretch the ethical boundaries", a Catholic Social Services report says.
23 Nov 2006

Pope to rule on condoms
The Pontifical Council for Health Care has submitted its 200-page report on pastoral aspects of the treatment of infectious diseases to Pope Benedict who is now expected to rule as to whether the use of condoms to prevent AIDS is permissible for Catholics.
23 Nov 2006

Feature - Memories of missionary life in PNG
Matthew Darby wanted to be a priest from a young age. At first he wanted to join the diocesan seminary and become a regular parish priest in New Zealand. But he was soon called to leave his home, family and country and make the first of two journeys which would eventually see him spend 46 years as a missionary in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. Fr Matthew was a member of the very first band of Franciscan missionaries to go there - Marilyn Rodrigues and Doug Mawhinney
23 Nov 2006

Opinion - Assassination of Christian nationalist divides Lebanon
The assassination of Lebanese member of parliament Pierre Gemayel on Tuesday sadly does not represent any new direction in Lebanese politics. This crime is in line with half a dozen other attacks and killings of prominent Christian figures in recent years. The young Gemayel was not a leading political figure in terms of experience or influence; but his pedigree Christian and Lebanese nationalist lineage made him a powerfully symbolic target for anyone who aimed to enrage the largely Christian-led anti-Syrian and pro-Western camp in Lebanon - Rami G Khouri
23 Nov 2006

Victoria's Sandhurst set to launch for planetary event
Young people from all over northern Victoria will descend on Shepparton tomorrow for the local launch of preparations for "the biggest youth event on the planet" - World Youth Day 2008.
22 Nov 2006

Stay away from war shrine, Japanese bishops warn
In a booklet under the signature of Tokyo Archbishop Takeo Okado, the Japanese bishops warn Catholics that there is no justification for visiting the national Yasukuni war shrine because of the risk of "glorifying war".
22 Nov 2006

Sydney St Vincent's Hospital in planning controversy
A town planning expert has attacked a controversial deal by the NSW government that rezones land and allows the construction of a 12-storey development at the St Vincent's Hospital Caritas property in Sydney's Darlinghurst.
22 Nov 2006

Church must fight for common good, former Chief Justice says
Speaking at the launch of an ecumenical social justice centre yesterday, former Chief Justice Sir Gerard Brennan said that churches need to win "hearts and minds" to the idea of a common good based on the dictum that "the money you keep locked away is the money of the poor".
22 Nov 2006

Lebanon on brink over assassination
Commentators fear that Lebanon will descend into further political crisis following the assassination at point blank range of anti-Syrian minister and leader of the Maronite Catholic community, Pierre Gemayel.
22 Nov 2006

Free to disagree with me on Jesus: Benedict
Pope Benedict, who has completed writing the first volume of a life of Jesus, says that the soon to be published volume outlines his own "interpretation of the figure of Jesus" and "therefore, everyone is free to contradict me".
22 Nov 2006

Feature - Home repairs the heart
Home is where we don't have to be on guard when we speak, where we can be sick and somebody takes care of us, and where we can shut the door and lock out every kind of storm and restlessness. Home is where we are safe. It's also the place where, one way or the other, we learned about God. I used to drive four hours, just for a meal or a night's sleep, in order to find that. Today, among other places, I find it when I read Therese of Lisieux's The Story of a Soul - Fr Ron Rolheiser
22 Nov 2006

Opinion - Dialogue on values, not theology with Muslims
A Jakarta-based Catholic friend of mine stoutly defended Pope Benedict in the controversy that followed his recent comments on Islam. Her attitude didn't come from the top of her head. Some of her expressions came from deep personal experience. Lia's firsthand contact with Muslim colleagues and friends taught her something very important about the relationship between Christians and Muslims. She is not interested in engaging in dialogue based on theology but on daily values and human rights - Fr Greg Soetomo
22 Nov 2006

Ace tennis "brat" now Dominican nun
1980s tennis star and former World No 2, Andrea Jaeger, also known for her on-court temper, has discovered a new spiritual life caring for children in need - and now as a Dominican nun.
21 Nov 2006

Record crowd calls for US military school closure
American missionary, Fr Roy Bourgeois, led up to 22,000 demonstrators in a protest against human right abuses by graduates of a US military training school for the Americas, which included the killing of six El Salvador Jesuits in 1989.
21 Nov 2006

Sri Lanka reopens road to avoid starvation
Following an appeal by the local Catholic Bishop, the Sri Lankan Government has temporarily reopened the road linking the northern city of Jaffna to the rest of the country as food shortages take their toll.
21 Nov 2006

Wadeye Indigenous community appeals to Pell
A Northern Territory Indigenous leader, Tobias Ngambe from the Wadeye Indigenous community west of Darwin has met with Sydney Cardinal George Pell to seek additional funding for a disadvantaged local school.
21 Nov 2006

Russian Orthodox leader says Catholics are "allies"
In the face of "hostile" secularism, Orthodox and Catholics are increasingly recognising each other as allies, a Russian Orthodox leader, Metropolitan Kirill, told Russian television following a meeting with Pope Benedict.
21 Nov 2006

Vatican envoy deplores "illegal Israeli action"
In a statement referring to "illegal Israeli action" in Palestinian territories, a Holy See representative has told a United Nations emergency meeting that the centrality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a cause of Middle East instability cannot be ignored.
21 Nov 2006

Feature - The Passion of the Pope
This year the Pope has emerged as a far more compelling and complex figure than anyone had imagined. And much of that has to do with his willingness to confront the threat of Islamic violence. The topic is extraordinarily fraught. On the eve of his visit to Turkey, Benedict now finds himself in an unfamiliar position as he embarks on the most important mission of his papacy. Having thrust himself to the centre of the global debate and earned the vilification of the Muslim street, he must weigh hard options - David Van Biema and Jeff Israely
21 Nov 2006

Opinion - Women in the church and the art of the possible
Strengthening the all-male character of the priesthood does not have to come at the expense of greater efforts to hear the voice of women. There are vast areas in the life of the church where authority and responsibility can be exercised without sacramental ordination. If the church were more systematic about the full representation of women in every area of life that doesn't require ordination, it would perhaps reduce some of the suspicion that the teaching on the priesthood is really a smokescreen designed to preserve male privilege - John L Allen
21 Nov 2006

Emmett mourners look on bright side
In death, Belinda Emmett taught us "the greatest lesson of her life", Catholic priest Fr Peter Clifford told mourners at the singer and soap star's Friday funeral service which included the Monty Python song, "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life."
20 Nov 2006

"Spirit of Assisi" unites young in prayer
Prayer for peace needs to be heard in synagogues, churches, mosques, pagodas and gurudwaras as well as in schools, workplaces, homes and "most importantly in our hearts", say young people who met for the 20th anniversary of the Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi.
20 Nov 2006

Food killing you, says US Catholic rancher
The industrial model of food production is driving farmers from the land and producing food that "is killing you", a Kansas cattle rancher told a US Catholic rural life conference on sustainable agriculture last week.
20 Nov 2006

Bush sings religious freedom tune at Hanoi Church
Shaking hands with choir members after praying at a Hanoi Catholic Church on Sunday, US President George W Bush urged governments to respect religious freedom, saying that "there's no more basic freedom than the freedom to worship as you see fit".
20 Nov 2006

SA drops planned ban on religious discrimination law
The South Australian government has dropped a planned ban on religious discrimination following opposition to the proposed law from the main Christian denominations over fears that they would be prevented from converting non-Christians.
20 Nov 2006

Catholic school "windfall" attacked
A Greens party spokesman has attacked Federal Government policies that have allowed Catholic schools to receive an extra $1.6 billion in funding from 2005-2008 despite the introduction of the "socio-economic status" method of calculating funding for private schools.
20 Nov 2006

Feature - President Bush's church visit rewards Vietnam
Just days before President George W Bush arrived for the APEC summit, the US took Vietnam off a list of nations it believes severely violate religious freedom. In announcing the decision, the US State Department said there had been "significant improvements toward advancing religious freedom" in Vietnam in recent years. Christians in Hanoi clearly feel that progress has been made. "My parents had some difficulties in the past," said 22-year-old Do Duy Nghin, one of Vietnam's six million Catholics.
20 Nov 2006

Opinion - A piano duet with the Pope...
When the Church of England decided to ordain women as priests I think all sorts of things were going on. But it wasn't just because we thought it would be useful, but because we thought it was right. Had we known how difficult it would be, would it have stopped us? I suspect not. I think there was sufficient depth of theological conviction for us to feel that it would somehow be wrong and no real compliment to the Catholic Church if we held back and said: "Well, you know, we won't hurt your feelings" - Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams
20 Nov 2006

Religious orders in new educational initiatives
Sydney Dominican Sisters have donated a pricey Sydney convent to an educational program for disabled children as the Jesuits are launching a new pedagogical partnership between two Victorian Catholic colleges.
17 Nov 2006

Christian groups in G20 solidarity protest
Christian anti-poverty campaigners plan to set up a tent outside the G20 Summit today as finance ministers and central bank governors from 19 countries and the European Union arrive in Melbourne.
17 Nov 2006

Vic Govt dismisses Catholic schools funding push
Victorian state treasurer John Brumby has rejected criticism by Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart over funding for Catholic schools, saying that the government has increased funding by 30 per cent in the last four years.
17 Nov 2006

Rabbi outraged by Brennan "ghetto" comments
Jesuit Fr Frank Brennan has apologised for hurt caused by remarks describing conditions in Bethlehem as "ghetto-like" after a Melbourne rabbi said he "felt sickened" by what he characterised as the human right activist's "politically charged speech".
17 Nov 2006

Refugee fears mount over Indonesia treaty and high court decision
The Brisbane Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has voiced concern about the implications for West Papuans of a pact between Australia and Indonesia while Edmund Rice Centre says that a recent High Court decision will put refugee lives in danger.
17 Nov 2006

Readmission of married priests under discussion
A Vatican meeting presided over by Pope Benedict yesterday discussed the possible readmission of "priests who at present meet the conditions foreseen by the Church", while reaffirming "the value" of celibacy.
17 Nov 2006

Feature - On Christian contemplation
Are the typical Catholic liturgies liminal or transformative spaces? Do they pull you out of business as usual, into an alternative universe where you have a different frame of reference, which Jesus would call the Kingdom of God? I've often said I go to Switzerland, God looks like a banker; I go to Germany, God looks like a policeman; I got to America, God looks like a businessman. They're very much a confirmation of the present consciousness, of the present politics of the present self-serving worldview - Fr Richard Rohr (interview)
17 Nov 2006

Opinion - Welcoming separated and divorced people
Throughout my personal and professional life I have come to know many people, most of them female, who have experienced a marriage breakdown and as a result are either separated or divorced. Some have expressed concerns about feeling outside their local Catholic community. As well I have noticed that many of their usual activities and networks seem to fade over time. At this time these individuals frequently look to their community for counselling and support which is not always forthcoming - Carmel O'Connell
17 Nov 2006

Pope butt of too many jokes, Vatican says
Italian newspapers are saying that the Vatican cannot take a joke after Pope Benedict's secretary said he had had enough of TV and radio satires including a sketch in which the non-smoking Pope was said to be "smoking like a Turk" in preparation for his forthcoming trip.
16 Nov 2006

British Anglican and Catholic bishops in historic meet
Forty years after the historic meeting between Pope Paul VI and the then Archbishop of Canterbury, British Anglican and Catholic bishops are meeting for two days of prayer and reflection to identify practical ways to express the fruits of the decades of dialogue between the two Churches.
16 Nov 2006

Govt should expand non-profit hospital role, says Catholic Health
If the Government wanted to put the dignity and interests of patients first, it should consider greater involvement of private, not-for-profit hospitals, Catholic Health's chief, Francis Sullivan says.
16 Nov 2006

Agencies sceptical on welfare voucher plans
Using income security as a bargaining chip will not help solve poverty in Australia, Vinnies spokesperson John Falzon said yesterday, as welfare groups rejected replacing welfare payments with food and clothing vouchers.
16 Nov 2006

Catholic employer body slams IR fairness risk
Constitutional validity of the new industrial laws does not mean they are fair, according to Michael McDonald, head of the Catholic peak body on employment relations.
16 Nov 2006

Christians unite in prayer for rain
Speaking on behalf of the Australian bishops, Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson has called on Catholics to join other Christians in next week's National Day of Prayer for rain.
16 Nov 2006

Feature - Sisters of the JP2 generation
For the iPod generation, it doesn't get more radical than wearing a veil. The hijab worn by traditional Muslim women might have people talking, but it's the wimple that really turns heads. And in the US today, the nuns most likely to wear that headdress are the ones young enough to have a playlist. Over the past five years, Catholic communities in the US have experienced a curious phenomenon: more women, most in their 20s and 30s, are trying on that veil.
16 Nov 2006

Opinion - Columbia: The US's other war
Last Christmas, President Bush was asked about the future of Iraq. "The future of Iraq is Colombia," he answered with a wily grin. Much of the world recoils as the US occupies and destroys Iraq. But not so Colombia. There the US shoves aside the indigenous people, seizes their land, grants it to multinational corporations, and maintains a facade of democracy. And the world is none the wiser. Most think a noble cause lies behind the war. Thus the president finds his war on Columbia much more to his preference - Fr John Dear
16 Nov 2006

Malawi Catholic group backs Madonna adoption
With several NGOs contesting the adoption of a Malawian boy by Madonna, the Catholic justice and peace commission in Malawi's capital has issued a statement backing the American singer.
15 Nov 2006

Mother Teresa's order invited to Vietnam
The Vietnamese government is planning to invite Mother Teresa's order to establish base in the Communist country, as the US State Department removes Vietnam from a list of "countries of special concern" over religious freedom.
15 Nov 2006

Polish Cardinal says sorry over "super spy" slur
Poland's Cardinal Jozef Glemp has written to a priest to apologise for branding him a "super-agent" for his role in exposing clergy members who had cooperated with the former Communist regime.
15 Nov 2006

Catholic Mission announces AIDS Day appeal
With governments stretched for funds, people are increasingly turning to the churches to respond as AIDS continues to kill millions in Africa, Catholic Mission said yesterday, announcing the launch of its forthcoming AIDS Day appeal.
15 Nov 2006

Human trafficking worse than slave trade, Cardinal claims
International human trafficking has intensified to the point that it is now worse than the historical slave trade from Africa, the head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Cardinal Renato Martino, said yesterday.
15 Nov 2006

Vatican calls married priest summit over Milingo
Pope Benedict will meet top Vatican curia officials tomorrow to consider how to respond to the creation of a "personal prelature" for married priests by Zambian rebel Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo.
15 Nov 2006

Feature - Tips on making "imperfect" marriage work
The challenge of marriage comes when the wedding excitement and honeymoon bliss is over and the newly-weds face the daily issues of housework, paying expenses, idiosyncratic behaviour and differences in temperament. This "sudden" awareness raises doubts of whether the choice of this lifelong partner is correct although the shortcomings are exactly what each had before. Disappointed and disillusioned, the couple becomes less tolerant and more critical of each other. What should be done if they want to change this mutually stifling atmosphere? - Fr Henry Siew
15 Nov 2006

Opinion - Beware those who worship Mother Earth
Perhaps the greatest scientific discovery of the last few years will turn out to be the so-called "God gene" - proving, it is claimed, that humans need a belief in a higher power to sustain them against a world of hardship or consumerist nihilism. Anecdotal evidence seems to back the gene's existence. For in secular Europe the emptying of churches has not been accompanied by growth in atheist rationalism but rather by new-age mysticism and astrological mumbo-jumbo. One pseudo-religion in particular has attracted the bulk of lost souls: clean, hot air environmentalism - Ed West
15 Nov 2006

John Paul I canonisation case goes to Rome
The cause for beatification and canonisation of Albino Luciani, the future Pope John Paul I, has completed its diocesan phase and forwarded to the Congregation for Saints' Causes.
14 Nov 2006

Christians not untouchable, Indian court rules
India's Chennai High Court has ruled that Christian Dalits are not entitled to the special benefits provided under the Indian Constitution for so-called "Scheduled Castes".
14 Nov 2006

Church's best kept secret revealed
A new website promising to provide in plain English "almost everything" the faithful wanted know about the Church's social teaching has been launched yesterday by Jesuit provincial, Fr Mark Raper.
14 Nov 2006

Catholic-backed lobby says Philippines mine "will turn mountain upside down"
Three Philippines Catholic diocesan centres are backing opposition to an Australian funded open cut copper and gold mine in the country's south that has been described by community leaders as an "environmental catastrophe looming over heads".
14 Nov 2006

UN chief slams religious divide theory
Neither the Koran, Torah nor the Bible are the cause of the growing Muslim-Western rift, outgoing UN chief, Kofi Annan, said yesterday, speaking at the launch of the Alliance of Civilisations initiative hosted by Catholic Spain and Muslim Turkey.
14 Nov 2006

Contraception and gay sex "neuralgic" issues: US bishop
Persuading married Catholics to reject contraceptives and gay Catholics to refrain from sex are among the "neuralgic" issues up for consideration at a US bishops meeting this week, says a Pittsburgh diocese bishop.
14 Nov 2006

Feature - Africa's example to the world
Africa can boast some exceptional statesmen. Everyone thinks immediately of Nelson Mandela, the first president of post-apartheid South Africa. But there is also the first president of Tanzania, Julius Nyerere, who was recently placed on the path to canonisation as a Catholic saint. In an era in which national leaders have been responsible for the blood of millions, Nyerere's humility and integrity are beacons in a world disfigured with cynicism, selfishness, prejudice and bloodshed. No JFK skeletons in the cupboard, either - Marytn Drakard
14 Nov 2006

Opinion - Complex cloning debate needed time
It is said that at times of intense conflict of conscience, prudence is a virtue. So too is having adequate time to digest all the relevant information. In the rush of last week's cloning decision, some senators pleaded for more time. Others felt corralled into hasty, uncertain voting. Too few seriously debated the health risks associated with amendments that place extraordinary burdens on women to produce enough eggs to satisfy the research agenda and timelines. This wasn't the senate at its best - Francis Sullivan
14 Nov 2006

Govt grants Sofia's final Aussie wish
The family of murdered Catholic schoolgirl, Sofia Rodriguez-Urrutia-Shu, who was to have become an Australian citizen a week after her brutal murder in June, has received a special government certificate which recognises Sofia's membership of the Australian community.
13 Nov 2006

Cathedrals to rise across the continent
Bunbury diocese has announced that it has raised over $11 million towards a new cathedral in the west coast regional city as the Wollongong diocese released plans to renew the steel city's dilapidated St Francis Xavier cathedral precinct.
13 Nov 2006

Vic Catholic schools funding at historic low
Victorian government funding for Catholic schools has fallen to "historically low" levels and is the lowest in Australia, the state's Catholic Education offices have revealed in documents released to coincide with the state election.
13 Nov 2006

Adelaide moves to settle orphanage abuse cases
A lawyer for alleged abuse victims has cautiously welcomed changes proposed by the Adelaide archdiocese as the Church moves to settle dozens of complaints for physical and sexual abuse by former residents at an orphanage.
13 Nov 2006

Benedict calls for radical change to protect people and planet
The fact that 800 million people in the world still do not have enough to eat is a "scandal", Pope Benedict said yesterday, calling for radical "structural" and lifestyle changes of the prevailing model of global development.
13 Nov 2006

More dress, less promiscuity, says Perth Archbishop
Warning of the risks of unwanted attention for women, Perth Archbishop Barry Hickey said young people are failing to appreciate the link between modest dress and the dignity of women.
13 Nov 2006

Feature - The faithful few
According to Fr Anthony Denton, Melbourne's Catholic Vocations Office director, many of the young men who ring his Office to talk about priesthood immediately reveal themselves as unsuitable. Though reluctant to give examples, he does say that some may come across as overly "practical" - like those who mention that their accommodation is running out and they have nowhere to live. Successful applicants, on the other hand, come with a range of previous careers, such as teaching, architecture, medicine and IT - Liz Porter
13 Nov 2006

Opinion - Difficult choice on condom review
The Church laid down a tough law in the 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae: no condoms, no abortion, no contraceptives. Never. Now the condom part of that rule is being reviewed, prompted, in part, by a handful of prominent cardinals and bishops who assert that condoms are necessary to control HIV infection worldwide. But a change of doctrine may not be easy. Even the smallest reversal of the encyclical's absolute moral rule calls into question the entire contraception ruling, the morality of abortion and even the doctrine of papal infallibility - Peter C Boulay
13 Nov 2006

Vatican officials mull TomKat wedding conundrum
Vatican officials appear to be in a quandary over whether to authorise a Catholic ceremony for Catholic-born actors Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes who also plan to hold a Scientology ceremony the day after their wedding next week.
10 Nov 2006

Pinochet bailed over coup priest "disappearance"
Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet has been bailed by an appeals court on charges of torture and murder of a Spanish Catholic priest who disappeared in the early months of Pinochet's rule.
10 Nov 2006

White poppies for Armistice Day, says British think tank
A leading British religious think tank is asking Christians to wear white poppies symbolising Christ's peace as well as "politically correct" red ones for tomorrow's Armistice Day commemoration.
10 Nov 2006

Non-profits need leading technology, Jesuit media guru says
Church Resources head, Jesuit Fr Michael Kelly, said that the not-for-profit sector needs cutting edge technology in order to reduce costs and especially to increase the quality of aged care.
10 Nov 2006

Former Timor PM blames Church over ouster
East Timor's former prime minister Mari Alkatiri has accused Catholic Church leaders of a conspiracy to destroy his Fretilin government over his recent ouster.
10 Nov 2006

Dramatic shift in US Catholic vote, polls reveal
With the Bush government reeling on the brink of losing control of both the US Senate and House of Representatives, early results from exit polls indicate a dramatic shift among Catholic voters from Republican to Democrat candidates.
10 Nov 2006

Feature - The good, the bad and the ugly in business
One of the greatest unmet needs in business today is the unfulfilled need of organisational members for a sense of meaning from the work they do and the work the organisation does. This is the exacting price paid for poor corporate cultural management. So many people are robbed of their right to enjoy their working lives. The negative impact of this is also felt by their families and friends as they watch loved ones become captive to their pay packet - Attracta Lagan
10 Nov 2006

Opinion - Election reveals gap between ideals and reality
Americans are finally fed up with the war in Iraq and are looking for change. Whether the mid-term election will significantly alter the political landscape in Washington is unknown at this stage, but that kind of change would merely confirm what seems palpable nearly everywhere going into the election - voters are dissatisfied with lots of things, and Iraq heads the list. US policy on Iraq has come to represent the dangerous gap between ideals and reality.
10 Nov 2006

For the love of Jesus, join us, says Jesuit online ad
Australian Jesuits have turned to internet job advertisements in a month-long campaign to reach young people interested in joining the 500-year-old religious order.
9 Nov 2006

Former revolutionary wins over Church in Nicaraguan election victory
Now a mass-going Catholic who says "Jesus Christ is my hero", former Sandinista revolutionary leader, Daniel Ortega, appears to have won the election as Nicaragua's president after reconciling with the Church.
9 Nov 2006

Indonesian prosecutors allege man planned hundreds of Christian decapitations
An Indonesian man now on trial for his life for the beheading murder of three Christian girls had planned hundreds more killings, prosecutors told a court in Poso, Sulawesi this week.
9 Nov 2006

Catholics, Jews put aside differences in AIDS fight
A high level meeting in South Africa, one of the world's countries hardest hit by the AIDS crisis, has united Vatican and world Jewish leaders in a call for international action against the pandemic.
9 Nov 2006

Labor Senator in surrogate controversy
Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart says the Church will not discipline Victorian Senator Peter Conroy, a practising Catholic, for having a daughter using a surrogate mother and a separate egg donor even though the practice is against Catholic teaching.
9 Nov 2006

Cloning fight not over, say clerics
Leading Catholic bishops and other Christian leaders have slammed the passing by the Senate of the human cloning bill for potentially setting Australia on a dangerous path.
9 Nov 2006

Feature - A glossy calendar to complement the Pope's glossy shoes
Pope Benedict XVI may be a conservative theologian but when it comes to fashion, he is on the cutting edge. With his penchant for designer sunglasses, padded quilt jackets and exclusive Italian footwear, Benedict XVI is continuing to attract ecumenical amazement from the world's leading fashionistas. What the Pope has done to red Prada shoes is what the cult US TV series "Sex and the City" did to Manolo Blahniks. It brought the world of high fashion closer to the common man.
9 Nov 2006

Opinion - Too busy for God?
I've been really busy recently. I've been dashing into church 10 minutes late because I had to send "just one more email." During Mass, I've been thinking about work rather than paying attention to the homilies. Do prayer, meditation and conversation with God fall by the wayside as we go-go-go in our careers? So many of us are fair-weather friends to God - so how can we make time for our spiritual life when it seems like every available minute is taken up on with earthly demands? - Christine Whelan
9 Nov 2006

Maitland girls in Wooden Spoon mystery
Students of All Saints College in Maitland, NSW, are not saying why they chose "The Wooden Spoon" as the title of a recipe book the Year 11 students have published to mark the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Dominican Order.
8 Nov 2006

Malaysian Govt threatens to use security laws over religious instability
Reacting swiftly to a protest outside a Church after false rumours of a mass baptism of Muslim converts, the Malaysian Government has threatened to use sedition and internal security laws against those who stir up religious instability in the multi-ethnic nation.
8 Nov 2006

Korean diocese in bid to double number of Catholics
In a campaign to mark its 40th anniversary, the South Korean diocese of Masan has launched a three-year campaign to double the Catholic population in the industrial port city.
8 Nov 2006

Melbourne Catholic Education in "cultural standoff", critic claims
The Melbourne Catholic Education system is now facing a "cultural standoff" after the previous leadership was disbanded and a former politician installed as acting director, Melbourne priest Fr Eric Hodgens claims.
8 Nov 2006

Benedict wants to immunise children against poverty
Pope Benedict yesterday purchased the first bond issued by the British government to help fund immunisation programs for children in the developing world as the Vatican renews its call to cancel poor countries' debt.
8 Nov 2006

Lobbying fails in narrow Senate vote on cloning bill
Intense lobbying by Catholics and other groups opposed to stem cell cloning has failed to prevent a controversial private member's Bill to legalise the practice from passing the Senate in a rare conscience vote yesterday.
8 Nov 2006

Feature - No ordinary preacher
Many would know that the OP after Dominicans' names stands for "Order of Preachers" - not, as Sr Nancy Murray OP suggested recently "ordinary people". "Preaching" tends to be narrowly interpreted, and not always positively, yet the Dominican understanding of preaching encompasses pulpit and paintbrush, stage and stave, classroom and cloister. A one woman show about St Catherine of Siena has become Sr Nancy's ministry of preaching, and some 325 performances later, her enthusiasm shows no sign of flagging - Tracey Edstein
8 Nov 2006

Opinion - History yields lesson on capital punishment
The inherent problem of capital punishment is that being a matter of life and death it demands that there be no error of judgement, but requires of each judge the omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence of God. Only omniscience can determine the full volition of an individual's crime; only omnipresence can serve as the perfect witness to any action; only omnipotence can effectively execute a punishment that fits the crime. We must always be cautious not to confuse justice for retribution; and that, for the human condition, is a very difficult task - Dr Andrew Thomas Kania
8 Nov 2006

Melbourne Cup favourite gets Catholic blessing
Sydney racing club chaplain, Br Dan Stafford, has blessed Irish Melbourne Cup favourite, Yeats, as well as his champion jockey, Kieren Fallon, in the lead up to today's premier sporting event.
7 Nov 2006

Stop selling saints relics, eBay told
Dozens of relics often purporting to be the bones of saints are on sale on the eBay auction website in contradiction of the site's own rules against the sale of body parts, US protesters say.
7 Nov 2006

Malaysian Church besieged over conversion rumours
A Catholic Church in Malaysia was besieged by up to 1,000 protesters on Sunday after rumours spread by SMS and email that a group of Muslim converts were to be baptised there.
7 Nov 2006

SA Catholic schools get report choice approval
Having sent A-E reports to all parents last semester, teachers in South Australian Catholic schools will now have the option to prepare "equivalent statements" for end-of-year reports, following Federal Government approval.
7 Nov 2006

Winner is Melbourne for religion "Olympics"
The next World Parliament of Religions, an event likened to the "Olympic Games of religion and spirituality", is to be held in Melbourne after beating out Singapore and New Delhi in the bidding to host the 2009 event.
7 Nov 2006

Vatican leads protests against Saddam hanging
Describing the death sentence for Saddam Hussein as an "unjustifiably vindictive reaction", the Holy See's Cardinal Renato Martino has expressed disappointment that Iraq has "not yet made the civilised choice of abolishing the death penalty."
7 Nov 2006

Feature - The deacon as servant myth
The belief that the distinctive characteristic of a deacon and diaconal ministry is service, usually in the form of charity to the poor, is the beginning of the "servant myth." It is a myth that continues to distort our understanding of the diaconate and hampers the full reception of the fruits of this restored ministry. If service is the distinctive quality of the diaconate, what does this say about the service dimension of the other ordained ministries and the mission life of the Church? - Anthony Gooley
7 Nov 2006

Opinion - Labor on right track to win back religious vote
It is true that some of the Howard Government's policies have appealed to some believers in Australia. They include the Coalition's support for faith-based schools and the Government's social conservatism on some moral issues. In view of this, it makes sense for Labor to contest this ground, especially since there are a number of Christians prominent in the ranks of the party's federal leadership. Recently Rudd attempted to capture this issue for Labor. Rudd and his Christian Labor colleagues are on the correct track but the task is not easy - Gerard Henderson
7 Nov 2006

John Paul II dream leads to cancer cure
A young Italian man's lung cancer has disappeared weeks after John Paul II appeared to his wife in a dream and reassured her that he would be fine, according to media reports, with the local archbishop confident that a miracle has taken place.
6 Nov 2006

Rwanda nun denies genocide charges
A Catholic nun is on trial on charges of collaborating with military officers to kill Tutsi hospital staff and starving patients during the Rwanda genocide of 1994.
6 Nov 2006

Ban political donations, says Edmund Rice Centre
The Edmund Rice Centre director Phil Glendenning has weighed in on the debate over a ban on political donations, saying that a $10,000 jaunt with a political leader could fund half the cost of an apprenticeship for a young Australian.
6 Nov 2006

Cloning bill still to be won, says Catholic Health
As the Senate moves towards a vote on a controversial law that would legalise cloning research, Catholic Health chief, Francis Sullivan, says that the conscience vote looks close but that "it is still there to be won".
6 Nov 2006

Bathersby calls Christians to ecological conversion
As thousands marched in capital cities across Australia to call for measures to combat global warming, Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby told a rally that he believes that it is not possible to be Christian and not care about the environment.
6 Nov 2006

Benedict prays for end to Gaza bloodshed
Expressing his "grave worry" over the deterioration of the situation in the Gaza Strip, Pope Benedict yesterday prayed that Israeli and Palestinian authorities will work to end the bloodshed in the region.
6 Nov 2006

Feature - A royal wedding in the Vatican
In Sussex at the weekend, they celebrated England throwing off Catholicism with traditional bonfire night gusto by blasting effigies of the Pope to smithereens. In Rome, meanwhile, a member of the British royal family married a fellow Catholic as if the 16th-century break with the Vatican was ancient history. For Lord Nicholas Windsor, his conversion and wedding after a five-year courtship of Paola Doimi de Frankopan, a professional artist, have been a vital part of putting a sometimes difficult youth behind him - Christopher Morgan
6 Nov 2006

Opinion - Faces are windows to our souls
Our fascination with the face reaches back to the most primal stages of human consciousness. There is a widespread belief that the face is a window of the soul and reveals our innermost nature. Perhaps this sense that there is an intimate connection between a person's character and his or her face helps to explain some of the recent controversy both with regard to the Muslim face veil, and in terms of public reaction to the news that a British surgical team has been given ethical approval to carry out this country's first face transplants - Tina Beattie
6 Nov 2006

Darwin Council calls in police over missing Vinnies gift allegations
Darwin Lord Mayor Peter Adamson has denied any wrongdoing after the council called in police to investigate claims that the mayor misused council money to buy a fridge that he says was gifted to the Vinnies.
3 Nov 2006

East Timor situation calm for All Saints
Fears of unrest have eased in East Timor after the All Saints and All Souls feast days passed relatively uneventfully, Catholic Church leaders in Dili say.
3 Nov 2006

Australian religious on NZ sex charges bailed
A Christchurch court has remanded Br Rodger Moloney and Fr Raymond Garchow on bail until January on sexual abuse charges dating back to the 1970s.
3 Nov 2006

Faith of our Forces needs funding
Backed by former top army officers, General Peter Cosgrove and Major General Peter Phillips, Australia's Military Diocese has launched a major vocations and fundraising drive under the banner "Help keep Faith in the Forces".
3 Nov 2006

Media violence desensitises young people, says youth advocate
Influential bands that advocate rape are impacting on young minds, says youth advocate, Fr Chris Riley, as it is revealed today that one youth in the notorious Werribee DVD is a student at a Geelong Catholic college.
3 Nov 2006

Istanbul man fires shots in suspected protest over Benedict visit
Istanbul police have detained a man who fired shots in the air outside the Italian consulate in what is feared to be a protest at against Pope Benedict's forthcoming visit to Turkey later this month.
3 Nov 2006

Feature - A lesson in love
Will I never learn? The other day, I attended a Saturday vigil Mass with five of my children and without my husband. Two of the children I brought along have a combined age under 5. I didn't anticipate any problems. Was that a sign of cockiness or stupidity? The ruckus began before we even settled in. An elderly gentleman sitting in front of us flashed his wife a look that could only translate as, "I told you we shouldn't sit here!" - Danielle Bean
3 Nov 2006

Opinion - No simple answers to rural hardship
The ongoing drought in NSW and the ACT is hitting hard. Even if the drought breaks tomorrow, it will take many years before farmers will be able to get back on their feet. It doesn't rain money. For those communities relying on drought-breaking rains, it is the same story. There are no simple answers to the hardship being experienced by these communities. When a farmer would prefer to drive for a half day to get help, rather than approach his local Vinnies, great sensitivity and understanding is needed - John O'Neill
3 Nov 2006

No blessings for fake priest
Police in the African nation of Malawi have arrested an alleged trickster accused of calling himself by the name of "Pastor Blessing Duwa" after using false papers to get himself ordained as a deacon and posing as a Catholic priest.
2 Nov 2006

Slammer not the answer, say NZ bishops
With New Zealand incarceration rates second only to those of the US, what is needed is a new approach, not new prisons for the country's growing prison population, New Zealand's bishops have said.
2 Nov 2006

WYD08 in call for new generation of young leaders
World Youth Day coordinator, Bishop Anthony Fisher, has called on young people to volunteer for an intensive three-month formation program for Christian growth and leadership as part of preparations for the massive event to take place in Sydney in 2008.
2 Nov 2006

Philippines priest appeals for fair media coverage of mine spill
A local priest in the central Philippines island of Rapu Rapu has accused the media of being biased in favour of an Australian owned mining company, Lafayette Mining, in their coverage of a mine spill on the island as the government decides on the mine's fate.
2 Nov 2006

Speculation mounts on Benedict visit to N Ireland
With the peace process in Northern Ireland advancing, speculation is growing that Pope Benedict will make a long mooted visit to the divided Armagh county together with Queen Elizabeth in early 2007.
2 Nov 2006

Pell slams "pro-cloners"
"Pro-cloners put scientific or commercial curiosity ahead of human life", Cardinal George Pell said yesterday, adding that that proposed new therapeutic cloning laws are an "affront to human dignity".
2 Nov 2006

Feature - Aussie legend
Last year's Young Australian of the Year, Vietnamese-born Khoa Do, wanted to "change the world" by enrolling into a law degree. He ended up finishing an arts degree and moving into film instead. Having finished three acclaimed films while working with disadvantaged youth, the 27-year-old is making a difference in his own way. Khoa's altruism has been shaped by an array of life experiences and a solid Catholic upbringing. "I've grown up seeing lots of different injustices", he says. "It makes you want to work in a capacity where you can change that" - Stephanie Thomas
2 Nov 2006

Opinion - Chaplaincy plan unviable in divided schools
The Federal Government's move to provide $20,000 for schools to engage chaplains would produce the best outcomes in schools where the school and parent body were like-minded about values and some of the most important and therefore controversial questions of religion. But if such unanimity of views is not present - which is increasingly the case in religious school communities today - the presence of a chaplain could unleash conflicts that would make the history of English wars look like a picnic - Tess Livingstone
2 Nov 2006

Royal Family member to wed at Vatican
In a first since the Reformation, Lord Nicholas Windsor, son of the Duke and Duchess of Kent of Wimbledon tennis fame, will this Saturday marry a British born Croatian noble, Donna Paolo Doimi de Frankopan, at a church behind St Peter's, Rome.
1 Nov 2006

Indonesian govt arrests religious violence suspects
Indonesia's Sulawesi police have arrested at least 15 Muslims on suspicion of involvement in a series of bombings and shootings targeting Christians over the last 5 years.
1 Nov 2006

Controversial Canadian priest runs for election
A Canadian bishop has allowed a Quebec priest, who is an outspoken critic of the Church's opposition to abortion and same sex marriage and was once a male prostitute, to stand as a candidate in an upcoming by election for a seat in Canada's parliament.
1 Nov 2006

Qld Catholic Education "positive" about chaplains
Debate continues over the Federal Government's chaplains funding proposal with the head of the Queensland Catholic Education Commission, Mike Byrne, dousing fears over government vetting and describing the proposal as a "positive initiative".
1 Nov 2006

God "not wholly owned" by any political party: Rudd
Speaking at the launch yesterday of Jesuit Fr Frank Brennan's latest book on religion and politics, Labor frontbencher Kevin Rudd accused Coalition MPs of failing to address the "destructive impact that market fundamentalism has on the family, the community."
1 Nov 2006

Liberation theologian named to key Vatican post
Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes, a friend of newly re-elected Brazilian president Lula and a long-time supporter of the liberation theology movement, has been named as the new prefect of the Holy See Congregation for the Clergy.
1 Nov 2006

Feature - Deaths and births
Just off the Talbot road to Maryborough, Victoria, there is a large gum tree. "So what?" you exclaim. This particular tree is very significant because it has been given the special gift of sheltering new life coming into the world. Up until 1840, the law of the Aborigines living in the district required mothers-to-be to leave family and community when birth was imminent. It was a great comfort for them to find safety within the cave-like trunk of the Maternity Tree, as it was called - Elizabeth Pike
1 Nov 2006

Opinion - Can jihad be redeemed?
Can the religious sense of purpose that fuels Islamic extremism be leavened with a commitment to reason and peace, without thereby losing its sense of self? It is for the most part a question that only Muslims themselves can answer. One could make the case, however, that if anyone in the West can help, it's Benedict XVI because he is the lone figure of global standing in the West who speaks from within the same thought world that Muslims sympathetic to the strong religious identity of the jihadists themselves inhabit - John L Allen
1 Nov 2006